Prism Fission: epilogue
Yes, it's true. In the final post of the Prism Fission CreativePact I did say I would write a summary post within a week. And it's now December. What the hell happened??
Creativity is what. I have spent the two months since the end of the Pact keeping up momentum on the project, to the point where I can say: Prism Exhilarated will be released on December 8th at the ‑otron Bandcamp!
Like I said in the Pact's prologue, there was a lot to do to get this bird out. But the Pact got the flywheel turning and since October I have:
- Finished the Python rendering software, so that it spits out track, tape side or full album renders where each track is positioned and normalised correctly.
- Mastered every track on the album and prepared all the assets necessary for the Python software.
- Finalised the releases's artwork.
- Acquired 50 deep red cassettes, replete with aforementioned artwork.
- Created all new audio to fill the gaps at the ends of the tape sides (see below for more on this...).
- Uploaded the reference copy of the album to Bandcamp and 'Geometry4U' to SoundCloud.
- Prepared the materials necessary for marketing (one sheet, various web and social media posts, etc.).
- Completed the Soundary website, which is the vehicle I am promoting the "Prysm" unique duplication system through.
One glaring omission here is a whopper: dubbing of the cassettes. And the story goes:
He did buy a cassette machine from an auction, and lo! it was completely worthless.
So he did then buy a cassette machine from eBay, and lo! that machine's transport speed couldn't maintain a constant speed.
So he did then borrow a cassette machine, and lo! that machine failed during the dubbing process, and its resultant cassettes were lacking in top-end.
So he did buy another cassette machine from eBay, and lo! that machine is suffering from a number of issues, including not recording cassettes at the correct speed.
You get the idea. It seems that tape deck technology is so old that finding a machine in actual good working order is a huge challenge these days.
Also, in the list above I mentioned the gaps at the ends of the cassettes. This really annoyed me. When I ordered the tapes I sent my sides lengths accurate to the second. But, the suppliers added 3 minutes of blank space at the end of each side of every tape. That is 25% of the total side running time.
Given that such a gap is completely unacceptable in a professional release I contacted the supplier, but they refused to do anything about it. Given that cassette splicing certainly contains its own nightmares, I decided the best course was to fill the silences with additional audio.
In the end this filler audio was created using a pretty straightforward generative process, but it still added days to the production time and knocked back my release date.
Gripes aside, Prism Exhilarated is almost there. Back in July I feared that if I kept going with the unique duplication aspect of the release it might never release. Fortunately, CreativePact put the project back on track, and Prism Exhilarated will release as originally intended.